Who are SAS surgeons?
SAS surgeons work at various career grades in hospitals. Although the term “SAS” or "Staff, Associate Specialists and Specialty doctors", is frequently used, there are a number of career grade posts. It is likely that in the future the most common of these will be the specialty doctor. They are also often referred to as career grades, Non-Consultant Career Grade (NCCG) and middle grades. The group of career grade posts comprises staff grades, associate specialists, specialty doctors, clinical assistants, hospital practitioners and other non-standard, non-training Trust grades.
Responsibilities and training vary greatly. Some are engaged in major complex surgery and some provide minor diagnostic procedures and outpatient services. The majority of SAS surgeons carry out elective and routine surgery, their contribution being important to the provision of many surgical services and to achieving targets.
Some of the SAS surgeons provide a service that requires a true generalist approach, working across specialised fields and allowing a unique insight into many areas of a specialty.
SAS surgeons are also frequently instrumental in research and training juniors and able to continue to engage in managerial, training and committee activities. They are often able to provide continuity in departments when trainees come and go on short rotations.
SAS surgeons are able to plan hours that are more regular and so attain a different life/work balance. For full-time specialty doctors the working week is normally 40 hours, comprising of 10 programmed activities (PA's) of 4 hours each. Most of these are dedicated to clinical work (including administration) and at least one of these must be for supporting activities (e.g. Continuing Professional Development). SAS surgeons are paid extra if they work outside core hours (7am–7pm) and for any on-call duties they undertake. The level of supervision to which SAS surgeons are subject varies depending upon your progression and seniority within the grade.